Though growing numbers across the country have been "Feeling the Bern," polls are showing that it is pretty unlikely Bernie Sanders will win enough delegates on Super Tuesday to launch him ahead of Hillary Clinton. To put the delegate system simply, the first candidate to amass 2,382 delegates wins the Democratic nomination, and a whopping 865 of them are at stake this coming Tuesday. Of course, there's no harm in taking a deeper look at the facts at hand, just in case. So what are the chances Bernie Sanders will win Super Tuesday?
At the moment, it appears that Super Tuesday odds are favoring Hillary Clinton. Six of the primary states — Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia — are southern states where the African American vote is a key player in the Democratic electorate. Massachusetts and Vermont, however, are practically home territory for Sanders, and may very well go to him on Tuesday. So, from Sanders' prospective "win" may mean just doing well enough to survive the next round of the race. Clinton, on the other hand, needs to win decisively to have this be a win for her campaign.
Even if Sanders can't manage to pull 4o percent or more of the delegates, he will be moving forward from Super Tuesday. His most difficult audiences to capture will indeed be those southern states, but after that, he may have a very good chance of appealing to larger northern states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. In those states, it will be more of a race. If he can win Massachusetts and Vermont, at least, on Super Tuesday, he may have enough momentum to stay in the game and even catch up with Clinton in the coming primaries.
Boiled down, if Clinton wins more than 60 percent of the delegates on Tuesday, Sanders will have a very difficult time catching up to her. If she gets below 55 percent, she will no longer seem like the inevitable Democratic candidate and instead look like more of a worthy adversary for Sanders — one that he could even surpass her later on.
The tricky part of this race is that Clinton is already way up in the count of super delegates (delegates whose votes are more weighty). By that count, Clinton is far ahead. But while this is a great sign for Clinton supporters, it could be terrible for her if she leads in super delegates but trails in regular delegates.
Sanders' whole campaign is built on the foundation that the system is rigged and unfair and ignores the people. If it becomes clear that she will win the nomination because of superdelegate votes rather than citizens' votes, the delegates may make moves to support Sanders to avoid angering Democratic party members and revealing the flaws in the system.
In short, the chances are slim to none that Sanders could win Super Tuesday. But, to remain a contender he does not have to win — he just has to keep his head above water.